1 This column appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app from the Apple Newsstand, and follow on twitter @sportmagukDuring the rugby season, my weekends are taken up by trips to watch and then talk about matches at different grounds around the country. I like spending days like this, as pork baps are a personal favourite and tepid cappuccinos from motorway service stations have become a bit of a safety blanket.Most games go as expected, but last weekend I saw a team inspired. Wasps beat Northampton, but the manner in which they did so fascinated me. In sport, players stand in the changing room before kick-off knowing certain things will happen. In rugby, big blokes will run into you as hard as they can, so you’d better be prepared to deal with it. There are, though, differing levels of preparedness.The first Northampton player to get hold of the ball and sprint with evil intent into a Wasp last Sunday was England hooker and certified talisman Dylan Hartley. Not only was he stopped by James Haskell, but picked up, carried backwards, and driven into the dirt. He gave Haskell an appreciative bum-tap as he stood up and corrected his jersey and skull, as he knew this was a significant moment. These vicious collisions continued without respite. The men in black and gold were on a mission, and it was mesmerising at times. Why, then, weren’t they like this last week? And how can we not be certain they will replicate this brand of overt physicality next time? The key, I think, is mental preparation. Psychology, as we all know, plays a huge part in top-level sport. Ask any coach or player how important the mind is in percentage terms, and they will quote you a large number. I recall a great coach once saying to me: “They’re all big and strong, mate, but once they wear one on the chin those biceps won’t mean shit; it’s all about ticker.” Sports like snooker and golf must take extreme concentration, the sort that makes me dizzy. But football is every bit as reliant on seizing moments and having the genuine confidence to do what you know you can do, regardless of external pressures. Contrast Fernando Torres and Diego Costa. They can both run, pass and shoot with accuracy, but Costa seems oblivious to the same pressures that seemed to paralyse Torres. I wonder if the latter ever received psychological help when things were going awry? One thing’s for sure: if you asked his coach how important the mental game was, he would have told you it was at least half the battle. Why, then, don’t these organisations put their money where their mouths are and get these blokes on the therapist’s couch?